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How to mark partition as active

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Anonymous
January 18, 2005 1:56:46 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

After adding a second hard drive, the Computer Management > Disk Management
option to "Mark Partition as Active" is grayed out for both drives. And the
second drive is now the active drive. I need to know how to change this so
when I format the new (second) drive as NTFS, I won't have to worry about
boot failure. Thank You in advance.

More about : mark partition active

January 18, 2005 6:10:05 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

The usual, or old, procedure was to boot with a real-mode DOS floppy and run
FDISK to set an Active Partition. Don't know about an NTFS drive or
partition though.

"Juan Tu No" <juantuno@covad.net> wrote in message
news:ugPnt7Y$EHA.2700@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
> After adding a second hard drive, the Computer Management > Disk
> Management
> option to "Mark Partition as Active" is grayed out for both drives. And
> the
> second drive is now the active drive. I need to know how to change this
> so
> when I format the new (second) drive as NTFS, I won't have to worry about
> boot failure. Thank You in advance.
>
>
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 11:48:27 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Juan Tu No" wrote:
> After adding a second hard drive,
> the Computer Management > Disk Management
> option to "Mark Partition as Active" is grayed out for both drives.
> And the second drive is now the active drive. I need to know
> how to change this so when I format the new (second) drive as
> NTFS, I won't have to worry about boot failure.

Best way is to disconnect the old drive, make sure the new one is set to Master
(if IDE), re-partition, format and install the OS. Then make sure the old drive
is set to Slave (or Master on secondary IDE channel), reconnect, restart.

A few years ago I had problems after replacing an old HD with a new one, because
of the "active partition" issue. After the new HD was working, I temporarily
copied all the data from the old (smaller) HD to the new one, did a complete
repartition and reformat of the old one, then moved the data back. No more
problems.
Related resources
January 20, 2005 1:22:20 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Timothy Daniels wrote:

> "Juan Tu No" wrote:
>
>> After adding a second hard drive,
>> the Computer Management > Disk Management
>> option to "Mark Partition as Active" is grayed out for both drives.
>> And the second drive is now the active drive. I need to know
>> how to change this so when I format the new (second) drive as
>> NTFS, I won't have to worry about boot failure.
>
>
> It sounds like you have only one partition on each hard drive.
> Since "active" means "with boot sector", it's not much use
> to mark the only partition the "active" one. As for entire hard
> drives, there is no "active" marking that has any meaning in
> the boot procedure. Here's how it goes:
>
> The BIOS will look down the boot order list to find a HD that
> has a Master Boot Record (MBR). If it finds a HD with an MBR,
> the MBR code looks for the "active" primary partition on the HD.
> Control then passes to the boot sector in that partition. Ntldr in
> that partition is given control, and ntlder, acting as a mulit-boot
> manager, sets up a boot menu using the boot.ini file. The
> selected entry in the menu designates a particular partition on
> a particular HD from which ntldr will load the OS. As you can
> see, "active" selects the boot sector of a particular partition on
> a designated HD. It doesn't select a HD.
>
> ~TimDan~

Kudos for a great explanation of something that has frequently confused me!

Does this also apply to SCSI drives?

I have a SCSI test system with several operating systems installed, each
on a separate disk. Some disks have more than one partition, but the OS
is installed on the first partition in all cases. No partitions are
"active", but I can boot any OS by setting the boot SCSI ID
appropriately on the SCSI controller.

I know I've booted this system from partitions other than the first on a
disk previously, but I don't recall if that required making the
partition "active" first - it would, right?

Sunny
January 21, 2005 2:07:25 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Timothy Daniels wrote:

> "Sunny" wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> Timothy Daniels wrote:
<snip>
> If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct
> device driver for the SCSI controller that is in use on the
> computer, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. If you are using
> multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not have to do this."

Interesting.

I have a test system with NT4, W2K Pro, and XP Pro (among other OSes)
each installed on separate SCSI disks in an external drive enclosure.

I checked, none of them are using scsi(x) in boot.ini - matter of fact I
don't recall *ever* seeing scsi(x) in a boot.ini, however my memories of
NT3.51 have faded...

> Notice that there is no connection between "scsi" and the
> concept of active partitions. Remember that the "active"
> partition is just the partition that contains a boot sector
> and the ntldr and boot.ini files. Once ntldr uses boot.ini

I don't have *any* active partitions according to Partition Magic - in
fact it keeps warning me my system won't boot as a result. I assume this
means none of my partitions have a boot sector either - but my bootable
partitions all contain ntldr and a valid boot.ini

> to provide the boot menu, the OSes listed in that menu and
> the one chosen to load may be anywhere on any hard drive.
> That means that the OS doesn't have to be on the "active"
> partition of the boot HD, it just has to be where the selected
> menu entry says it is. IOW, the "active" partition and the
> partition containing the OS needn't be the same partition.
> And my educated guess is that all this applies equally and
> in the same way to both IDE and SCSI hard drives. But
> in the interest of keeping us all educated, please post your
> own findings here.

Apparently all this doesn't *quite* apply equally to IDE and SCSI, since
SCSI doesn't appear to require a boot sector.

Motherboard IDE BIOSes typically don't allow you to specify the boot
disk, so I suppose they search for a boot sector. SCSI controller
BIOSes, OTOH, typically *require* you to specify the boot disk, so I
suppose they simply attempt to boot from the specified disk regardless
of the presence of a boot sector.

If that's the case, what is required to boot Windows installed on a
partition *other* than the first partition on a SCSI disk?

Do ntldr and boot.ini have to reside on the first partition, or on the
boot partition? Or either? And if they reside only on the boot
partition, does that partition then require a boot sector?

I expect I'll be able to answer those questions - just need to decide
which of my test system disks is expendable, and make time to experiment ;-)

Sunny
!